A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo – 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅

City Report - 21 May 2018

A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo

Chris Wiley undertakes a gallery crawl during SP-Arte, taking in shows by Hilma af Klint, Paulo Nimer Pjota and Nicolás Paris

By Chris Wiley

Vast, forbidding, and opaque, São Paulo can resemble a heavily fortified Los Angeles. Indeed, there were some intersections in the tony parts of town where I could have sworn that I was in Beverly Hills, were it not for the five-metre-high walls around the sprawling houses, and the phone booth-like guard posts sitting on the street corners, which glow with the flickering light of televisions at night. The streets are similarly strangled with traffic, and walking is not an option. But unlike LA, you can hail a handy helicopter to wing you around the city, right from an app on your phone, if you have the cash. Many, of course, don’t.

What São Paulo lacks in security and helicopter traffic regulation, it makes up for in art. The touring retrospective of pioneering abstract painter Hilma af Klint, that landed at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo after a run at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in her native Sweden, left me absolutely gobsmacked. The whole show crackled with energy and vitality: from the astonishing, titanically-scaled series ‘The Ten Largest’ (1907), any one of which could go toe-to-toe with canvases by brand-name painters enshrined in the hallowed halls of art history, to the achingly delicate studies of flowering plants from her days as an art student, which put Albrecht Dürer on my mind.

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A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅

Paulo Nimer Pjota, ‘Medley’, 2018, installation view, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo. Courtesy: Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo

My gallery crawl yielded a handful of highlights, as well as some notable duds. Mendes Wood DM offered up a bit of both. In the front gallery, a cheeky, exuberant show by Paulo Nimer Pjota consisting of roughly treated, unstretched canvases paired with collections of resonant objects (Roman theatre masks with cartoonish tongues, ancient-looking water jugs emblazoned with ‘tribal’ tattoo designs) both pilloried junky pop-culture artefacts with colonialist underpinnings and traced visual archetypes across cultures and timescales, from African tribal carvings to the Cartoon Network. In the back, a pious and ponderous show by Runo Lagomarsino sent me scampering for the press release, which explained, among other guiding tidbits, that the disembodied car headlight illuminating a paper work on the wall, consisting of the repeated phrase ‘American Amnesia’, came from a brand of car favoured by Argentinian paramilitary death squads. This cleared things up a little, but still left me underwhelmed.

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A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅

Nicolás Paris, ‘between tomorrow and yesterday or the paths of a detour’, 2018, installation view, Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo

Over at Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel, Philip Larratt-Smith curated a group show stocked with a roster of familiar names, which took its title from Luis Buñuel's film That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). What the show lacked in surprises it made up for in elegance, particularly the pairing of a Roni Horn glass work with a pint-sized Wolfgang Tillman photograph of a man’s ear, which thrummed with mystery in the gallery’s breezy, light-filled entryway.

Rounding out my tour was an exhibition of delicate, whimsical sculptures and videos by Nicolás Paris at Galeria Luisa Strina, offering up some memorable rainbow-gradient loofas and a tender video following the drift of a fluffy seed as it rolls gently around a garden. The show’s overall effect, though, was hobbled by obtrusive exhibition design.

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A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅

Nicolás Paris, ‘between tomorrow and yesterday or the paths of a detour’, 2018, installation view, Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo

Outside of the galleries, the city proved to be replete with a myriad of less fleeting cultural treasures, many of them architectural. The sprawling Ibirapuera Park, for instance, is studded with landmark buildings by Oscar Niemeyer, including his stark white auditorium with its  cartoonish red tongue marquee, and the flying saucer-like Oca art pavilion, which was empty of exhibits when I visited, allowing the alien, purgatorial space to speak for itself. The obverse of Oca’s temporary barrenness came in the form of the Museu Afro Brasil, also housed in a capacious Niemeyer building, which was chockablock full with historical objects, indigenous artifacts, art exhibitions and historical primers related to the history of African slavery in Brazil (which was, I was surprised to learn, substantially more widespread and long lasting than in the United States) and the subsequent integration of freed slaves into Brazilian life and culture, which was dizzying in both its scope and impact.

Elsewhere in the city, we hunted down gems by the venerable Italian-born Modernist Lina Bo Bardi, including her gravity-defying Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), her secluded jungle home (sadly closed to us due to our lack of planning), and her SESC Pompéia community center. This latter project, a converted oil drum factory with a pair of soaring brutalist towers connected by flying walkways added as an addendum, proved to be the salvific opposite of the fortress-like urban fabric that I encountered elsewhere in the city. Here, openness reigned: literally, in the form of wide wooden walkways where people sunned themselves, and the glassless, amoeba-shaped apertures in the sides of the most prominent tower; figuratively, in that the largely free resources that the complex provides (health and fitness, art, theatre, schooling, a public library, and more) were all being taken advantage with gusto by people from across the city’s class strata.

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A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅

Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No. 1, Childhood, Group IV, 1907, tempera on paper mounted on canvas, 3.3 x 2.4 m. Courtesy: Hilma af Klint foundation; photograph: Albin Dahlström / Moderna Museet, Estocolmo, Suécia 

Although my visit to the city took me to its iconic buildings and exhibits in its museums and galleries, perhaps the most transcendent aesthetic experience came in the form of food. Tucked away at the end of a dead-end street in the posh Jardins neighbourhood, D.O.M. (which, appropriately, is an acronym for ‘Deo Optimo Maximo’, or ‘to God, the most good, the most great’) provided me and my travel companions with a lunch that I would unhesitatingly describe as life-changing. Lorded over by chef Alex Atala, the restaurant treats traditional Amazonian ingredients (among them Pirarucu, a prehistoric-looking Amazonian river fish; Jambu, a mouth-numbing leafy green; and, notoriously, ants) with haute gastronomic panache. The price wasn’t exactly democratic, but the experience of being nourished by the expertly prepared and presented bounty of the preposterously fecund jungle served to transport me out of the endless expanse of São Paulo’s concrete, through the portal of nature, and onto a realm which, like that inhabited by Hilma af Klint’s paintings, can properly be called divine. 

Main image: Vik Muniz, Handmade: Letter rack (Acqua and grey ribbon) (detail), 2017, mixed media on inkjet printing on archival paper, 76 x 56 cm. Courtesy: Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo

Chris Wiley

Chris Wiley is an artist and writer. He acted as an advisor and catalogue writer for ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’ at the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013.

City Report
São Paulo
Chris Wiley
Mendes Wood DM
Vik Muniz
Paulo Nimer Pjota
Nicolás Paris
Hilma Af Klint


城市报道- 2018年5月21日在圣·Paulo Chris Wiley的神殿旅行在Sp ARTE中进行了一次画廊的爬行,由Hilma af Klint、Paulo Nimer Pjota和Nicol的巴黎参加了Chris Wiley的表演。巨大的、令人胆怯的、不透明的Paulo可以像一个高度坚固的洛杉矶。事实上,在镇上的托尼地区,有一些十字路口,我可以发誓我是在贝弗利山庄,如果不是围绕着散乱的房子的五米高的墙,电话亭像是在街角上坐着的警卫哨所,它闪烁着TE闪烁的光芒。夜间活动。街道同样被交通堵塞,走路不是一种选择。但与LA不同的是,如果你有现金的话,你可以用一架轻便的直升飞机环绕你的城市,从你手机上的一个应用程序。当然,很多人都不知道。Paulo在安全和直升机交通管制方面缺少什么,它在艺术上弥补了不足。开创性抽象画家Hilma af Klint的巡演回顾,在瑞典斯德哥尔摩的现代博物馆运行后,在PiaCoTeCa de S o o o Paulo登陆。整个展览充满活力和活力:从令人惊叹的泰坦系列“十大”(1907),其中任何一个都可以在艺术历史神圣殿堂中的名牌画家的画布上从头到脚地进行。NTS从她作为艺术系学生的日子,把阿尔布雷希特·D·R放在我的脑海里。18-04-06oEO88111-PANOO-CROPEPHD-H.JPG A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅 Paulo Nimer Pjota,“混合泳”,2018,安装视图,Mendes Wood DM,S o o o Paulo。礼貌:MeDES伍德DM,S Paulo,我的画廊爬行产生了少数的亮点,以及一些值得注意的DUDS。Medies伍德DM提供了两个一点。在前面的画廊里,Paulo Nimer Pjota的一个厚颜无耻的、充满活力的展览,由粗略处理过的未拉伸的画布和共振物体的集合组成(罗马式的带有卡通舌的面具,古老的水壶,上面刻有“部落纹身”图案),两个柱子都被点缀着。NKY流行文化的文物与殖民主义基础和跟踪视觉原型跨文化和时间刻度,从非洲部落雕刻到卡通网络。在后面,Runo Lagomarsino的一个虔诚而沉重的表演让我在新闻发布会上大肆吹嘘,这解释了除了其他指导性的小道消息外,无意识的汽车头灯照亮了墙上的一篇论文,包括重复的短语“美国健忘症”,来自一个品牌O。阿根廷准军事敢死队青睐的汽车。这让事情有所好转,但仍然让我感到不安。NigalaspPARIS-PARIS-7LATATEFRAIPANT17042018JPG WPA6022602IMG尼古拉’s巴黎,“在明天和昨天之间或绕道的路径”,2018,安装视图,Galeia路易莎Stina,S o o Paulo在Fordes D'Aloia&加布里埃尔;Philip Larr阿特-史米斯策划了一个团体展览,展示了一个熟悉的名字名册,从Luis Bu尼尔的电影中夺取了它的名字,那就是欲望的模糊目标(1977)。这部剧在令人惊叹的作品中缺乏优雅之处,尤其是Roni Horn glass作品与一张男人耳朵的小尺寸Wolfgang Tillman照片的配对,在画廊的微风轻盈的入口中,神秘的音乐在其中弥漫着神秘色彩。WPA60603BRWPAP60300 3BR围绕我的巡回演出是一个精致、异想天开的雕塑和视频由Nicol的巴黎在加利西亚路易莎斯特里纳,提供了一些难忘的彩虹梯度丝瓜和一个柔嫩的视频跟随漂移的蓬松种子,因为它轻轻地绕着一个花园。然而,该剧的整体效果却受到了引人注目的展览设计的影响。NigalaspViasas-9ista,EdoudRADIPANT18042018JPG WPA60260602IMG尼古拉’s巴黎,“明天和昨天之间或绕道的路径”,2018,安装视图,Galeia路易莎Stina,S o o Paulo在画廊外,城市证明要充满无数稍纵即逝的文化宝藏,其中许多是建筑的。例如,扩张的伊比亚普拉拉公园有Oscar Niemeyer的标志性建筑,包括他那透明的白色礼堂和它的卡通红色舌框,还有像OCA艺术馆这样的飞碟,当我参观时,它没有展品,允许外星人、炼狱者。自言自语的空间。OCA暂时荒芜的正面是以巴西黑人的形式出现的,也被安置在一个宽敞的尼美尔建筑中,它充满了历史文物、土著文物、艺术展览和与巴西非洲奴隶制历史有关的历史底漆。这是,我很惊讶地发现,比美国更广泛和持久的,以及后来的解放奴隶融入巴西的生活和文化,这是令人眼花缭乱的范围和影响。在这个城市的其他地方,我们追寻的是意大利尊贵的现代主义者Lina Bo Bardi的宝石,其中包括她对圣保罗艺术博物馆(Masp)的抗拒,她那幽静的丛林之家(由于我们缺乏计划而不幸地关闭了),还有她的SSEC PoppiIA社区中心。后一个项目,一个改建的油桶工厂,有一对高耸入云的野蛮塔,连接着飞行通道,作为补充,被证明是我在城市其他地方遇到的堡垒式城市织物的救星。在这里,开放是统治的:从字面上看,是人们晒太阳的宽阔木质通道,以及最显眼的塔楼上无玻璃的阿米巴形状的光圈;象征性地说,这是复杂的提供的大量免费资源(健康和健身,艺术,剧院,S)。一个公共图书馆,以及更多的人都被来自城市阶层阶层的人们津津乐道。HAK102.JPG A Journey into the Divine in São Paulo - 圣·Paulo的神圣之旅希尔玛AF KLIT,十大,第1,童年,IV组,1907,Rela在纸上安装帆布,3.3 x 2.4米礼貌:Hilma af Klint基金会;照片:Albin Dahlstr O/MeNNA博物馆,Estocolmo,苏西亚尔虽然我参观了这座城市,但带我参观了它的博物馆和画廊里的标志性建筑和展品,也许最超然的审美体验是以食物的形式出现的。在一个死胡同街的尽头,D.O.M.(适当地,它是“Deo Optho Maimo”的缩写,或者‘对上帝来说,是最好的,最伟大的’)给我和我的旅行伙伴吃午餐,我会毫不犹豫地把它描述为“生活禅”。嗯。在厨师Alex Atala的带领下,这家餐厅对待传统的亚马逊成分(其中包括PrARARUCU,一种史前的亚马孙河鱼类;JAMBU,一种嘴巴麻木的绿叶;以及臭名昭著的蚂蚁),具有很高的烹饪美感。这个价格并不完全是民主的,而是由精心准备和赠予的富饶的富饶肥沃的丛林所滋养的经验,它把我从无尽的Paulo的混凝土中,穿过大自然的门户,带到一个像THA一样的王国。Hilma af Klint的绘画作品中所包含的“T”可以被称为“神圣”。主要形象:Vik Muniz,手工制作:信纸架(Ac漆和灰色缎带)(2017),在档案纸上喷墨印刷的混合介质,76×56厘米。礼貌:克里斯、威利、克里斯、威利是艺术家和作家。他在2013威尼斯第五十五年展上担任“百科全书宫”的顾问和编剧作家。城市报道圣保罗克里斯威利曼德斯伍德DM维克穆尼兹保罗保罗尼莫PJOTA尼科尔巴黎希尔玛AF KLIt


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